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spinning on that dizzy edge

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Saturday mornings in Darcy’s off-campus apartment have turned into the laziest part of a visit. Darcy usually sleeps in and then does some complicated thing involving eggs and avocados and her hair. (Clint does not ask--he’s not that stupid.) Clint might go for a run, or, like this round, he might just sit out on the steps with his coffee and make friends with the dogs who come running by with their owners. Even in late November, people are up early and getting some miles in, but it’s too cold to stay out for long, so he’s back inside contemplating the contents of Darcy’s fridge and how the remains of what looks like two weeks of varied takeout might be turned into breakfast when she flounces into the main room and throws herself on the couch.

“Okay,” she sighs. “Before I ask this, you have to swear to me that you will say no if you want to.”

“Uhh--” Clint starts, but she’s not finished yet.

“Seriously. I swear I will not be offended or hurt or in any way if you don’t want to do this.”

“Okay,” Clint says slowly, giving up and admitting to himself that he really doesn’t have the first fucking clue what’s going on. On the theory that caffeine never hurts, he fills Darcy a mug and tops off his own. “I swear I will turn you down flat.” He hands her the mug and edges her feet out of the way so he can sit on the couch next to her. “What is ‘this?’”

Darcy sighs again, looking very pathetic and pitiful. She manages to drink half her coffee in a single gulp though, so Clint throttles himself back down to about a DefCon 4 and nudges her to answer.

“Well, you know I haven’t been home a lot, and I missed the High Holy Days ‘cause of that stupid, stupid group project--” She glowers at the mention of the disaster. Clint hides his smirk; he has a hell of a lot of fun out of listening to her verbally shred the rich kids that overrun her campus, but he figures that admitting that right now won’t do anything but distract them both. “Anyway, so it’s not the same, but it’s Hanukkah next weekend and my dad sent me money for a plane ticket.” She drains the rest of her coffee and makes grabby hands for Clint’s. He hands it over (there’s another whole pot brewing) and she buries her face in it while she adds, “Andhesentmoneyforyoutocometoo.”

“Huh,” Clint says slowly. She’s watching him like she’s expecting him to already be out of the room and running for his car. “Aside from how I can pay my own way and that I know nothing about Hanukkah, I’m okay with that.”

“Really?” Darcy can do dubious with the best of them (and by that he means Nat and Bobbie.) Clint shrugs. “You’re not freaked out about meeting my family?”

They haven’t talked a lot about what they’re doing together, which isn’t going to surprise anyone who knows either of them. He’s not exactly sure what the hell a smart, pretty, normal girl like Darcy is doing with a guy like him, but he’s not going to be the one to point that out to her, and he sure as hell isn’t going to screw himself out of the best thing he’s had in years just because of shit that happens in normal relationships. He's an Avenger: he can fake his way through a family visit.

“It was either gonna happen sometime or we were gonna break up,” Clint says, going for a variation on his Let’s Keep The Civilians Calm voice (a variation because she knows that voice and she’d probably be pissed that he’s pulling it out in personal conversation. He’s not sorry about sliding into it, because the civilians in this case most definitely include his own damn brain, but there’s no need to push his luck.) “I vote for the plan where we stay together.”

“Oh,” Darcy says, putting her (his) coffee down on the floor and smiling a slow, easy smile like she’d forgotten that part of it (which to be honest, she probably has, because she tends to take a while to wake up on the weekends.) “I vote for that plan, too.”

She twists around on the couch, tugging at him until he’s settled between her legs. The other thing about weekends now that she’s not out running around in the middle of the night with Foster and Selvig is that they usually get a long, hard fuck going as soon as Clint walks in the door on Friday night, which leaves Saturday open for a little more variation. Clint considers the matter while he leans in for a kiss. It’d be easy enough to carry her right back into the bedroom, but so far as he knows, they’ve got nothing planned for the rest of the day, so he might as well save the fully involved action for a little later. Right now, with her hair still wild from sleeping and her face bare of any make-up so he can watch the flush creep across her cheekbones and down her throat, she’s tousled and gorgeous, and Clint wants to take his time and see how long she’ll let him play.

He starts with kissing--she loves it and Clint’s discovered a new appreciation for it since they’d stopped just flirting casually and started stitching together whatever this thing is between them. Darcy’d be perfectly happy to lie around all day and make out, but he’s already decided he’s going for more, so he slides both hands up under the camisole she sleeps in. She mmm’s into the kiss, a lazy, wanting little noise that Clint loves to hear. He drags his hands across as much skin as he can, stroking up along her abdomen and then back down over the curve of her hips. She squirms a little--he’s almost tickling her, which she both loves and hates--but she knows what’s coming, so she doesn’t try too hard to get away.

Clint eases off the kiss and leans back enough that he can watch her face as he starts teasing her nipples. Her eyes half-close and that gorgeous mouth drops open at the first brush of his thumbs.

He keeps it light and easy for another few passes, just long enough for her her to be sinking her teeth into her bottom lip and her breath to quicken. Her nipples are already tight and hard, and normally he’d step things up a little at a time, maybe stop being quite so careful with his nails, but this morning he skips right to pinching at them, one after the other. She hisses and whimpers, everything tensing up as her eyes fly open.

“Too much?” Clint asks, ready to back off, but not changing what he’s doing until she tells him to. That’s their deal: anybody can stop anything anytime, but they trust that everything’s good until they hear otherwise. He knows Darcy thinks it’s because she’s relatively inexperienced compared to him--which is definitely true--but he’s had a couple of times when something’s hit him wrong and he’s needed to call a timeout.

“In--Intense,” Darcy says through gritted teeth. “Everything’s still a little … tender after last night.” She groans as he adds a little twist at the end of each pinch, but she still doesn’t ask him to do anything differently.

“You tell me, Darce,” Clint reminds her. “We can stop whenever you say.” Last night had been one of those nights when neither one of them had been too concerned with subtlety or delicacy; he’s not exactly surprised that she’s still feeling it. He knows he’s gonna be carrying marks from her nails and teeth for a while. It tends to get a little crazy between them when he’s been out with the Avengers before he comes to see her: he’s happy to be alive, he guesses, and she’s wound up at being too far away to do anything but watch shit fall apart on the news, and they take it out on each other. Usually, they’re back to what passes for normal by the next day, but today, watching her writhe and whimper under his hands, Clint faces the fact that it doesn’t look like that crazy streak is quite done with them yet.

He’d only meant to start her off like this, and he still plans to push those little shorts she sleeps in down and off and tongue-fuck her until she’s screaming, but right this second he’s not thinking about anything beyond the next shuddering gasp he can pull out of her and how much further she’ll let him push her.

“Oh, god,” Darcy whimpers as he tightens his fingers deliberately. “Oh, god, oh, god.” Her voice breaks on the cry, but he’s paying attention and it’s the good kind of noise, the kind that says she’s riding the edge of too much but hasn’t gotten there quite yet. It’s been a long time since he’s cared as much about a partner’s pleasure as he does here--he probably needs to think about that at some point, but since he generally fucks things up when they get too serious, for right now he’s just going to keep pretending this is some excellent sex layered on top of a fun friendship.

Clint tightens his fingers again, and then once more, dropping his head down so he can drag his mouth over the tears that are leaking out of the corners of her eyes. Darcy still doesn’t call him off, but he gets to some point in his brain where he wants to see her, all of her, so he stops teasing her long enough that he can push her shirt up. The flush has crawled down below her collarbones, a jagged line of red across her pale skin, halfway to her breastbone. Clint traces the edge of it and lets the shuddery, quick breaths under his finger sink into him.

“You want more?” He ghosts a touch along her curves, the smooth soft skin on the underside of her breasts, barely touching her at all and completely ignoring her reddened, still hard nipples. She arches up into him and he smiles. “Just this? Or more?”

“More,” Darcy whispers. “Please.” Her voice hitches on the second word, a tiny little break that trips every switch in Clint’s brain. He might not be what she’s going to want for the long haul, but he can damn well give her whatever she wants right now.

“Look at me, babe,” Clint says, taking his hands off her until she drags her eyes open and glares at him. “Good girl,” he tells her, which really irritates the crap out of her, but since he says it as he starts rolling her nipples, the bitching out he was about to get dissolves into a groaned, “Y’re such a jackass sometimes.”

“Just sometimes?” he asks, tugging sharply when she flips him off, pinching tight and then letting her nipples take the full weight of her tits. Her eyes are dark now, the blue almost totally taken over by the black of her pupils, but she’s watching him like he wanted. He’d said it so he could keep close tabs on where she is with all this, but he’s not going to deny that there’s a part of him that’s getting off on seeing just how far over the line he can push her. He’s pretty sure none of her snappy college boys have gotten her this strung out. It’s a cheap win, but he’ll take what he can get, he always has. “That’s one of the nicer things a woman’s said to me.”

“I’m a nice person,” Darcy gasps, her hands digging into the cushions so hard Clint can see the tendons popping. He gives her one last twist, hard enough that she chokes out a harsh cry, holding it until she's clawing at the couch, and then lets go, pinning her hands so she can’t put any pressure on where the blood’s slamming back into her nipples, making it so she just has to feel it all.

“I don’t know, babe,” Clint says, holding her easily despite her twisting and struggling. “You’re looking pretty dirty to me.”

“Frustrated,” Darcy grits out. “The word you’re looking for is ‘frustrated.’”

Clint grins at her, but then drops his head down and draws a nipple into his mouth, sucking carefully, soothing away some of the hurt. He looks up as her breath shudders out of her and almost can’t breathe himself at the long, beautiful arch of her throat and the spill of her hair. He lets go of her hands and she throws one arm up across her eyes.

“I’ll get you there,” Clint promises. “You know I will.”

“Yeah,” Darcy answers. “I’m putting in a request for a having a brain left when you do, though. I still have another semester to get through, you know.”

“Noted,” Clint says, turning back to work a little at the other nipple. She huffs out a shaky laugh, and her other hand comes up to comb through Clint’s hair. “Keeping that thought,” he murmurs against her skin, “get naked for me, babe.”

He backs off enough to let her squirm around and get her little bits of clothes off, but still keeps his mouth on her tits, licking and sucking and very, very gently biting. He hadn’t been at all gentle the night before--which is what had made it so easy to wind her up this morning--and he isn’t planning on much more of it going forward, but for now, he just wants her to know he hasn’t forgotten how it makes her cry and beg and whimper.

When her clothes are scattered across the room, Clint sits up and nudges at her legs until one is up on the back of the couch and the other is on the floor and she’s spread wide for him. She watches him steadily, not looking away even when he goes back to fingering her nipples again and she can’t keep still. He reminds himself that it takes a lot of trust and guts to open yourself up like that and promises silently to see it through.

“Your turn,” Clint tells her, taking her hands and bringing them up to cup her tits. “Go on.” He waits until she gets started, her fingers plucking at her nipples before he moves his own hands, trailing them down to bracket her hips, his thumbs tracing where her thighs hit her torso. “I have some other things I want to play with.”

“Classy, Bar-- Barton,” Darcy answers, and this time she’s not trying to hide the break in her voice. Clint grins at her and goes straight for her cunt, pushing four fingers inside her without any warning. “Fuck,” she chokes out, arching up off the couch. “Fuck, fuck, fuck, oh, god.”

Clint waits, but she doesn’t say anything more, so he curves his fingers forward and drags them back out, and then does it all again. She keens through a tightly set jaw and a quiet little voice in his head wonders what she might sound like if he got his whole fist in her. He bites back a groan at the thought--later, he promises himself--and fucks into her again, rougher, deeper, drawing another helpless noise from her throat.

“Tender again?” Clint asks, deliberately using her earlier description. For all that she can out-talk him a hundred words to his one, he’s figured out that she’s not just throwing details around randomly. She says what she means and he wants her to know he’s listening.

Darcy mmm’s a little affirmative sound that’s impressive in its casualness, like she’s doing nothing more than having a mildly interesting conversation while checking her email rather than being naked and half-desperate to come. If he’s being honest, that attitude is one of Clint’s favorite things about her. He hasn’t met many people who can roll with the crazy things in life like she can, especially when they’re not actually in his own line of work. It’s pretty goddamned impressive.

In case she’s calling it, Clint holds off another couple of seconds before he starts in again. This time he watches her face as he fucks into her, because it’s occurred to him that she’s stubborn enough that she won’t back down once he’s essentially dared her.

Darcy’s wet and slick, and he’s got his fingers wrapped tight around each other, but after he’d come inside her the night before, he’d gotten her spread out on the bed and fucked two more orgasms out of her with her vibrator. The last one had taken a while and she’d nearly jolted off the bed when he went to clean her up after; he’s not surprised that she’s still feeling it even the next morning.

She hisses on every stroke in, and again when he slides out of her, but her hips are moving with him and she’s working her nipples in the same rhythm, not just teasing them with her nails but catching them between her fingers, hard, right at the first knuckle where there’s no give or cushioning, just a thin layer of skin over the bones. Watching her makes his own breath stutter for a couple of seconds, and when he flicks his eyes back up to her face, she’s looking at him with wide, dark eyes.

“We can do more,” Clint says, his voice rough and low as he keeps his hand moving. “Go online, find some clamps you might like.” Darcy whimpers at that. “Pretty ones, with a chain I can grab, or the heavy kind I can screw on tight--” She’s gasping now, every breath close to a sob, her head tossing back and forth like she doesn’t know what to do. “Or if that’ll take too long, I can go down to the hardware store, grab some clothespins, get a whole package so we can use them on your tits and your pussy--” He lays a line of quick, sharp pinches along the outer folds of her cunt, just so she knows what he's talking about. She jerks against him, her body tightening around his fingers, and his mouth and throat go dry at the thought. “I don’t know about the rest of you but your cunt likes that plan.”

The noises spilling out of her mouth are raw and helpless and her hips are moving desperately. She’s so wound up that Clint knows she’ll go off like a rocket as soon as he touches her clit. The thing is, she knows it, too, but she’s not making any move toward making it happen, and that, her letting him do that, her trusting him to take care of her… Yeah, that pretty much threatens to white Clint’s brain out.

He draws it out a couple of strokes longer, lets himself fall into seeing and hearing and feeling her, lets it all burn into his brain for a time when he isn’t going to have it, and then flicks his thumb up over her clit. It only takes that single stroke and she’s coming with a wail, her hips snapping up for more and her cunt clenching down on his hand, and Clint watches it all with a sense of pleasure and satisfaction that’s almost physical himself.

“Not done yet, babe,” he says, letting his hand slide out of her and dropping down to work his shoulders under her thighs. Her panting little whimpers go up a magnitude in decibels and shrillness as soon as he gets his mouth near her clit, turning into wails again as he rubs his tongue over it.

Two, Clint’s brain ticks off, and he starts working on Number Three immediately, starting with holding her down with an arm across her hips. He takes his time with this one, licking her lazily, ass to cunt to clit, again and again, breaking it up by sucking at her clit and fucking her cunt with his tongue. Darcy shakes against him, little shudders that match up with what he can hear of her breathing, but she’s still taking it, letting him do whatever he wants.

“Easy, baby,” Clint murmurs against the soft skin of her thigh. “One more time.” He waits until she chokes out an agreement, and then goes back to licking at her clit, winding her up again while he gets one hand down so he can slick his fingers in her cunt before sliding them down to push just inside her ass. He hasn't fucked her there yet, but they're working on it--she likes ass play, she's told him that over and over, but she's still skittish enough when he first touches her there that he's been taking it as slow as he can. She whines as he teases her, flicking his tongue over her clit, flexing his fingers wide to stretch her ass and edge in deeper. He does it again and again, ratcheting her tighter and tighter until she's sobbing and incoherent and he can finish her with a hard suck at her clit at the same time that he pushes three fingers into her ass. She jerks and writhes and thrashes against him and he keeps on pushing her, not giving her a break until she cries stopstopstop.

There’s an edge of desperation to the words, enough of one that Clint flinches back from her, suddenly aware of how out of his own head he’d gotten, and sickeningly sure he’s just fucked up, but Darcy’s grabbing for him before he can get out of arm’s reach, dragging him down on top of her and clinging to him like he’s the only thing she wants in life.

"Stay," Darcy breathes. "Stay, stay."

The sudden adrenaline rush starts to fade, and Clint gets himself wedged into the space between Darcy and the back of the couch so he can get both arms wrapped around her.

“Holy crap,” Darcy says after a while, her voice still a little shaky and thin. She turns her head and smiles at Clint. “I can-- Do you want--?” She takes a deep breath. “I--uh--?” She laughs. “No words; there’s a first.” She breathes deep again, this time managing, “Good morning, that was awesome. What can I do for you now?”

Clint’s still unnerved enough by the finale that he’s not even tempted to smirk at her struggles with words, just smiles back and brushes a kiss across her temple. “Later, okay? We’ve got all day.”

“‘Kay,” Darcy murmurs. She lays her head back for another few minutes, then stretches and groans. “I was planning on a long, shared shower, but now my thighs are informing me that standing any time soon is a lost cause, so I've moved on to a bath.”

“We could probably manage that,” Clint says, happy to have something to focus on. There’s a fuzzy, handmade blanket at the far end of the couch; he wraps her up in it and lifts her easily for the walk to the bathroom. She loops one arm around his shoulders and tucks her face into the crook of his neck; he's sorry it's only a couple of steps. Sitting her--gently, carefully--on the edge of the vanity, he gets the water started and then braves the giant, under-sink basket of bath stuff she’s forever adding to. “Glitter or not?” he asks, and looks up to see her biting her lip.

“If I don’t put anything in at all, will you come in with me?”

Clint starts to point out that her bathroom isn’t exactly Stark-sized, and that there’s probably not room for both of them in the builders’-standard tub, but--in a dazzling and unprecedented display of brilliance (Nat will be so proud)--the sane part of his brain kicks the rest of it to the curb, and answers, “We could probably manage that, too.”

“Yay,” Darcy says, sounding almost as surprised as Clint is himself.

There really isn’t enough room for both of them, but with a little squirming and creative leg arrangement, Clint ends up in the hottest (actual) water he’s been in for ages, with a double-armful of sleepy, pliant girl tucked up against him, her quickly pinned-up hair tickling his face and neck as he wonders how he’s ever going to do without this now that he’s had it.

Chapter Text

Darcy would be proud of herself for how much chill she has around the Avengers, except…

Well, Thor is just so overwhelmingly gorgeous and muscled and intense that her brain really can’t accept his reality, and thus just short-circuits to treating him like any other doofus who’s in love with her boss. Tony Stark is such a hot mess that she doesn’t have any trouble sassing right back at him, and Colonel Rhodes laughs every time he hears her do it, so that’s Iron Man and War Machine taken care of. Dr. Banner works so hard to be not frightening that she doesn’t have the heart to be anything but super-casual with him. Sam is just an awesome guy, so much so that he brings the utter perfection of Steve Rogers back down to the realm of normal girls, and even manages to smooth over all of Barnes’ scary edges (seriously, listening to the two of them kvetch at each other while Captain America rolls his eyes at them is like having her own private reality show.)

So, yeah, that takes care of the guys, and as far as the ladies go… Wanda is so obviously grieving and alone that Darcy can’t bear to be scared of the glowy red stuff. She’d managed to have the right files at the right time during her and Jane’s first meeting with SI, which meant that Ms. Hill generally doesn’t pull the scary shit automatically with her, and which also put in a good word for her with Ms. Potts. (Darcy does not kid herself that she isn’t in a constant state of half-fear/half-maybe-lust around both of them, but she thinks that could describe most of the interns in the company, so they’re both used to it.) Colonel Danvers would probably be in with Hill and Pepper, except that Darcy had figured out her thing for Colonel Rhodes early on and that little bit of normalcy and humanity (not to mention good taste) made her easy to chat with somehow.

Darcy will admit to being pretty freaked out around the Black Widow, but seriously, being calm in that situation is such an advanced level of chill that she can’t give herself any grief about it.

Which brings her to Hawkeye.

The one Avenger she should have no trouble hanging out with, but who somehow has her brain so scrambled she has to work like crazy not to be yet one more arrow-obsessed groupie every time he saunters into her field of vision.

Happily enough, she thinks she’s managed to pull it off. He’s a crazy flirt, the kind of guy who has something to say to everyone, and she’s answered back in kind right from the start, so there haven’t been any awkward pauses or weird silences. (Honestly, between the two of them and their mouths, there’s very rarely any silences, much less weird ones.) It’s only after he’s blown back out that Darcy stops and thinks about how her stomach’s twisted up in knots because of his damn smile (and the accompanying eye crinkles--she is a goner for guys who smile with their eyes) or how that dorky two-fingered salute he throws at her when he’s leaving makes it a little hard to catch her breath.

There are other things, too, like the way he’s always working things with his hands (twirling pens or juggling the nuts and candy he’s always snacking on) or how he’d once danced her across the lounge area in the Tower penthouse during a party, his hands lightly on her hips, that she does not think of unless she is alone and behind a door that can lock. The first time she’d gotten herself off thinking of him, furtive and half-horrified at what her brain was throwing out for visuals, she’d spent a week trying to avoid him, sure that she’d blush so hard he’d know something was up. In the end though, she’d walked around a corner and had nearly been mowed down by him and Falcon, already in gear and running to meet a quinjet. In the rush of the moment, though, she’d managed to throw out a “bye, bye boys, have fun storming the castle” that had him grinning back over his shoulder at her. Leaving out the part where she’s lost count of how many orgasms the memory of that grin has presided over, she thinks the moral of the story is clear: Never underestimate the power of The Princess Bride, thank you very much, William Goldman. (And Rob Reiner.)

The whole mooning-around-over-the-hot-guy thing is kinda sad, but she figures she’ll get over it at some point. She’s not the first idiot to fall for a superhero--and hey, not everyone gets to be Jane and have it go both ways--but at least she hasn’t embarrassed herself in front of him. At some point, her lady parts will buy a clue and let her off the hook. She just has to hang on until then.

As plans go, it’s not very solid, but she’s trying. And of course, it gets blown all to hell and back long before any of the desired outcomes even start happening, but Darcy would like it known that she did have a plan to start.

* - * - *

“Well, now,” Clint says, his voice low and intimate enough that every nerve in Darcy’s body sits up and pays special attention. “There’s my favorite smart lady. I wasn’t sure you were still here and it wouldn’t be a party without some snarking from you.”

He says it like normal, that same flirty attitude that’s their regular tone, like it hasn’t been a month since they’ve seen each other, like he hasn’t fucking been in the hospital that whole time, like Natasha hasn’t been walking around with her jaw so tight Darcy isn’t sure how she hasn’t broken it. He’s smirking, too, that ironic little twist of his mouth that says he basically doesn’t care about what the world thinks.

Normally, Darcy is right there with him, but as previously mentioned: hospital. Intensive care. People worried sick about him. (And Darcy really not allowed to be one of them, at least not publicly.)

She knows he’s expecting some kind of quick snappy answer, because that’s how they are, that’s how they’ve always been, one quick joke after the next, but when she opens her mouth, all that comes out is a flat, even, “Fuck off, Barton.”

Darcy catches one quick glimpse of his face, the smirk gone and not much of anything in its place, as she turns and walks away. She doesn’t quite make it across the room before she loses her grip and is running, but there are a lot of strangers standing around (it’s a Stark party, of course there are a lot of strangers standing around) so she’s hoping no one she knows noticed.

Someone must be watching out for her, because the powder room behind the bar is free. Darcy crashes in--her eyes are blurry and hot, and it feels like Thor dropped his hammer on her chest. She manages to get the door locked behind her, and then grabs onto the vanity so she doesn’t fall over from shaking. It’s just too many feelings to deal with crashing through her--she’s happy that he’s okay, but that’s all mixed up with things that she has no real right to be feeling and the all the extra shit that goes along with knowing she’s acting like a prissy little drama queen.

Yeah, this is the first time they’ve talked since everything went down, but Darcy’s just the intern in the lab that he flirts with and that’s not much of a reason to be on the ICE list. She knows this; it’s just that some part of her evidently really hadn’t wanted to believe it, not from how furious she is with him. The rest of her is humiliated that she still hasn’t managed to get over the whole stupid crush, and all of her is ashamed that she couldn’t use her words and tell him stuff calmly.

For god’s sake, she says to her reflection in the mirror. You’re leaving in less than a month; you couldn’t just have shut the fuck up and left on a good note?

The answer is apparently not just no, but hell-fucking-no with a crying fit that’s just the goddamned cherry on top of this emotional shitstorm of a sundae she’s got working here. Plus, oh, my god, she is not even making sense with her metaphors at this point.

You are so fucking screwed, Lewis, she tells her reflection. Given that she’s been crying hard enough to have mascara streaked all over the place, there’s not a lot of arguing from any part of her brain to that. Somehow, though, just saying it calms her down. She’s been running from that, from all those feelings for… a really long time, longer than just the time he’d been hurt. It still sucks that yeah, she’s the dumbest of all cliches, the little groupie-wannabe, but it is what it is, and, as previously noted, she’s winding down her time with Jane, so she’s only going to have to dodge him for a month.

After you apologize for flipping out on him, Darcy’s conscience (which sounds a lot like her father, fuck her life) tells her sternly.

“Yeah,” she sighs, reaching for a washcloth to start dealing with the make-up disaster that’s currently her face. “I know.” Happily enough, the drawers and shelves in the little bathroom harbor a treasure trove of make-up removers and cotton balls and all manner of extra goodies, due, no doubt, to the mad organizing skills of one Ms. Pepper Potts. “After that, though,” Darcy mutters, dabbing at the streaks of black, “After that, I am going to ground and never coming up, not even for margarita night.”

* - * - *

Of course, now that Darcy’s looking for him, Clint is nowhere to be found. No matter where she wanders, and how innocently she asks, all she hears is that he’d just been there, or they think he’s off in [insert whatever room she’s not in]. It’s like he knows she’s desperate to leave and is staying one step ahead of her, just to aggravate her. Or, he’s doing what you told him to and fucking off, the logical part of her brain says. It’s not an unreasonable thought.

“Fine,” Darcy mutters to her brain. “Be that way.” Since she really isn’t going to go without apologizing for being an enormous bitch to the guy who just got out of the hospital (god, the more she thinks about this, the worse it gets), she gets herself settled with one of the mocktails they make at the bar (for everyone who’s on call but still need a little pick-me-up) and watches the world go by. It’s not her usual modus operandi of seeing how many people she can talk to during a single night, but it’s actually not all that bad. People stop by and say hi, and she gets to tell a lot of the worker bees that she’ll miss them when she leaves. After three drinks and a (non-tearful) trip back to the powder room, she lets Thor take her out on the dance floor, which is always a laugh riot even in the middle of an existential crisis (the big guy’s rhythm does not do techno, but he tries hard, bless his heart.)

And since the night definitely has it out for her, of course Thor kind of spins/flings her off the dance floor right as Clint finally appears. Between her (redone) make-up half melting off, and her hair in full dance mania hell, Darcy is under no illusions that she isn’t working a total Jane-Eyre-madwoman-in-the-attic look, but there’s not a lot she can do about that and she is not letting Clint disappear on her again. Thor has reached the super-chatty, sociable mode of having drunk juuuust enough of his hellish ale (which also sort of explains the techno dancing), so it takes a bit before she can send him off to see if Jane needs anything.

Clint’s eyes are uncharacteristically serious, but at least they don’t look angry, Darcy thinks. Cautious and guarded, maybe like how he looks when the bad stuff is happening. Or maybe she’s just projecting, because she’s heard a hundred stories of Hawkeye wisecracking through everything, even this last thing that landed him in the hospital--and look at that, there she is back at the start of all this and it’s time to pull up her big girl panties and apologize.

“Okay, so--” Darcy starts, right as Clint says, “Yeah, about earlier.” They both stop, and Darcy is so tempted to back off and let him take the lead that she’s a little ashamed of herself, enough that when he nods to her to keep going, she doesn’t allow herself to hesitate at all. “I just wanted to apologize for before. I was--” She casts around for a suitable description of her attitude (maybe she could have thought about this a tiny bit more before she’d just thrown herself out there, but she’s here now and not stopping.) “Awful,” she finally settles on. “And I’m sorry.”

“Okay,” Clint says, tilting his head like he’s not exactly sure she just said what she said. “That’s--I appreciate it.” He doesn’t smile, not exactly; it’s more like a little tension eases out of him. “Thanks.”

As sincere as he sounds (and Darcy doesn’t think she’s just letting herself off the hook), there’s clearly something else waiting in the wings. Darcy doesn’t think she’s ever seen him hesitate over his words before, but finally he sighs, and says, “I’m not trying to be an idiot here, but that seriously wasn’t like you, and I’ve been over everything I can think of and I’ve got no clue what I did to piss you off so bad.” He gives her a half-shrug. “I swear that if you tell me, I won’t do it again.”

Nine guys out of ten would have written her off as a crazy bitch--not that Darcy’s speaking from experience or anything--and she wants to explain, but that’s opening up an entire case of cans of worms. Apologizing is one thing; admitting the reasons behind the bitchtastic attitude is something entirely different.

In the end, she goes for a modified version of the truth, as offhand as she can make it. “You just… scared the shit out of Natasha--which is really fucking scary to see, you know--and then you were all nothing-to-see-here, and it was…” She manages a pretty decent shrug. “I don’t know, I was just really irritated.”

Clint looks at her, his face expressionless for a long few seconds before he steps back. “Sure,” he says, his voice flat and almost disgusted. “If you say so.”

Darcy can feel her face heating with a flush that’s half shame at being caught out so easily, and half anger, because it turns out she was probably right at not wanting to put her real reasons out there for public comment. It’s no real surprise that the anger wins--that’s always been an easy out.

“Hey,” she snaps. “You’re the one who asked--”

“Yeah,” Clint snaps back. “I did.” He stops for a second, like he’s arguing with himself. Darcy’s not sure whether he wins or loses that fight when he half-snarls, “You don’t want to answer me, fine. Just don’t spin me some bullshit about how you’re ‘irritated’”--she can hear the air quotes loud and clear--“on Nat’s behalf. She can read me her own fucking riot act just fine.”

“Fine,” Darcy spits out. “I’ll let her do her thing, and I’ll just be fucking pissed on my own account.”

“Right, because I’m really supposed to believe you give a flying fuck about me wisecracking after I’ve been laid up.” His mouth and jaw are tight and uncompromising, enough that Darcy thinks any sane person would be a little unnerved by all the negative shit he’s channeling. Good thing Darcy isn’t particularly sane at the moment. “Like I said: you don’t want to tell me, fine. Just quit with the bullshit, sweetheart.”

"Oh, isn't that priceless," Darcy hisses. "I need to stop with the bullshit when you were the one leading with it?" Clint starts to answer back, but now she really is mad. "It—" she goes ahead and throws in some air quotes just for shits and giggles—"'wouldn't be a party' without me? Me. Jane's go-fer. The one you talk to if you happen to be in the same room at the same time, but otherwise can’t be bothered? That's who you need for a party?" Darcy's actually so mad and hurt--she might have started off mad, but she's mostly hurt now, because with every second her brain keeps shoving memory after memory at her, all the banter, all times she’s flirted with him, every single one feeling like she'd been played a fool--she can barely breathe. "I take back my apology. You can fuck yourself to hell for all I care."

People really are looking at this point, but Darcy gets out and to the elevator on such a wave of righteous fury that no one even tries to say anything to her. Friday gets her to the lobby in a direct shot, a smooth fast drop that's just a perfect metaphor for how much of an idiot she feels. She's not going to cry again—she has a very strict rule about throwing away tears on guys who don't deserve them, and she's apparently already broken it over Barton once tonight already—but she would really like someplace quiet and out of the way to talk herself down from the screaming ledge she's teetering on. Of course, the lobby at the Tower is as big as a football field and she isn't quite to the place where she's ready to ditch her heels and make a run for it, so it takes forever to cross, all of which means she's still in the building when the elevator bings again and Hawkeye comes sprinting out.

"I thought you were on my side," Darcy mutters, glancing up at one of the discreetly placed security cameras. She feels certain Friday hears her, but no one answers, so she allows herself a sigh and keeps on navigating the highly polished floor with her (sadly out of place) FM stilettos. Barton slows as he gets closer to her, and for a second, she gloms onto a faint hope that he'll bail and give in to the temptation to turn tail and run that she's sure is written all over his face, but… No such luck.

"Darce—" he starts.

"I don't want to talk to you," Darcy says, keeping her eyes straight ahead. Her heels are hitting the floor hard enough to echo in the cavernous space, a clackclackclack that is almost in sync with the still-furious pounding of her heart.

"Yeah, I got that," he says. Darcy snorts. She'd like to say more, about how she seriously doubts that, since he's still talking to her, but see above, re: Not Wanting To Talk. "I just wanted to be sure you knew that, yeah, Stark's parties are a hell of a lot more fun when you're around." Out of the corner of her eye, she can see him shrug. "So, no, I wasn't actually BSing you."

"I wasn't either," Darcy spits out, which, shit, so much for the whole not talking to him thing. She keeps on walking, but her heels are coming down without as much fury. And if she’s being honest, she can admit she’s still moving mostly because she's scared to stop and find out what all this means.

Wimp, Darcy lectures herself. She’s really just trying to ignore reality, and that's something she's tried to stop doing since Thor fell out of the sky on them. (Sometimes, it takes her a little while to acknowledge it's happening, hence only now going back to finish her degree, but hey, she's trying.) She sighs, and stops, turning to look at Clint. "I don't know why you have such an issue believing I was irritated as fuck at you pretending like everything's fine, but I was." It's her turn to shrug. "I am."

"It's not so much that I can't believe I pissed you off—" Clint doesn't so much smile as let his mouth twist up in a self-mocking little curl. Darcy is not at all happy with that expression, but it doesn't really seem like the time to get into it with him over one more thing. "I do that all the time."

There’s definitely more coming; Darcy can see it in his eyes. To the amazement of all, she manages to keep her mouth shut and give him time to say whatever it is he needs to say. It’s possible that she might be learning how to communicate better (always a goal.) Or it could just be that she’s exhausted from all the emotions that have been whiplashing around them lately. Either way, not-talking is a new and exciting concept in her life, but she manages to stick with it.

“I don’t get why my glossing over getting dinged up is enough to piss you off,” Clint finally says. “I don’t get why you care.”

“Because I do care,” Darcy hears herself saying. Clint’s staring at her like she’s suddenly started speaking Martian, which, to be fair, she totally understands. She's been trying hard to get it so her brain is in charge of the rest of her, but obviously that isn’t a thing tonight, even before her hands get in on the non-thinking action and reach up to touch a not-quite-healed cut on the edge of his eyebrow. Oh, well, she sighs to herself. In for a penny, etc, etc, etc. “It really fucking pisses me off when you act like none of this matters. It does.” She swallows hard. “You do.”

Clint is holding himself very, very still. Darcy reminds herself that it’s only going to be another month before she can disappear into the mundane world of seminars and lectures; she knows she can live with hideous embarrassment for that long (cf, sophomore year of high school and her boobs suddenly deciding they were A Thing.) As lightly as she can, she touches another cut, this one on his cheekbone; this time he catches her hand in his and turns his head to press a kiss against the tips of her fingers. It’s Darcy’s turn to hold herself still; later, she acknowledges that she probably couldn’t have moved even if she’d wanted to. Her brain apparently hadn’t even thought the unfolding events were even a possibility; now that the unforeseen things are actually happening, it is way too busy flipping the fuck out to care about little things like moving. Darcy figures she’s happy enough that she hasn’t forgotten how to breathe (well, okay, at least after the first shock of his mouth on her skin had passed.)

“So if neither one of us was bullshitting the other,” Clint says, his voice low and a little rough, “where does that leave us now?”

“Someplace a little scary?” Darcy has never been so proud of her brain in all her life. Words are good. Honest words with a bit of humor are amazing. She has no idea where they came from, but, yeah, SO PROUD.

“Good scary or bad?” He’s still holding her hand, one finger stroking slowly over her knuckles.

“Really, really good, Barton.” Darcy nods. “Really good.”

* - * - *

‘Scary’ turns out to pretty okay. Neither one of them feel like going back up to the party, so Darcy texts Jane with all the right code words (if there’s ever a time she does not need Thor storming to the rescue, this is it) and Clint gets them to an old-fashioned coffee shop, the kind with vinyl booths and stools around a counter, where she watches him decapitate and dismember a perfectly harmless club sandwich before he wolfs it down.

He lets her steal his fries, though, so she manages not to vocalize her horror.

Happily enough, it turns out that actual conversation is as easy between them as the flirty stuff had been. He doesn’t talk quite as much when he’s trying to be serious, but he doesn’t totally clam up either, and it’s almost three in the morning by the time they stand up to leave. (Darcy is extra-happy to notice that he leaves a tip that basically doubles their check; it’s always nice to get confirmation that one of her hopeless crushes is actually a good guy. It happens way less often than she’d like.)

“Look,” Darcy says as he turns them back toward the Tower. “I’m leaving in 27 days. I know we just figured some things out, but we’ve been doing this…”

Her voice trails off, and Clint huffs out a little laugh. “Yeah, this.”

Darcy rolls her eyes at him, and then continues, “Whatever this is we’ve been doing, we’ve been doing it for a stupidly long time.” It really has been years since all the craziness started in New Mexico, and Clint’s been around for it all, snarky comments and smirks from even before she realized he was Hawkeye and an Avenger, not just one of Coulson’s drones. “I don’t know… I just don’t want to waste any more time.”

Clint looks at her for a long few seconds, as though he’s trying to gauge how serious she is--or maybe if she’s sober enough for him to take her up on the offer (which she totally is--she’d barely had two drinks at the Tower and that was before they spent the last few hours pounding down the kind of coffee that eats any spoons left in it.) Finally, he says, “I have an apartment in Bed-Stuy, if you want.”

“I want,” Darcy tells him. He grins at her, and yes, fine, it’s a cheesy line, but it is the absolute truth, too. Darcy wants so much she can’t begin to list it all out, and she hadn’t expected to get any of it, so she’s not going to even waste the time trying.

They get a cab, and Darcy holds onto Clint’s hand tightly as they move through the city. They’re on a bridge somewhere (possibly the Brooklyn Bridge, but Darcy’s spatial awareness of the city is pretty sketchy, so who knows, exactly) when he leans down and kisses her for the first time. It’s kind of ridiculously romantic and perfect, really not their vibe at all, the Manhattan skyline lit up out the back window and the lights on the bridge wires swooping up into the darkness as they flash past them, but Darcy is not going to argue about it, not at all.

Clint kisses her and kisses her and kisses her, little nips and bites deepening into longer, slower ones, his tongue sliding in and out of Darcy’s mouth with an easy, teasing rhythm. Darcy teases back, because that’s just how they are, and why should it be any different when things are getting physical?

He stops twice to give the cabbie directions, coming back to Darcy both times with a hard focus that leaves her head spinning and her lungs aching for air. She matches those, too; gets her hands up under his shirt and finds the places that make him that much more crazy, so that when they finally stop in front of his building, Darcy is pretty impressed they make it out of the cab on the first try.

“Thanks, man,” Clint mutters, shoving a handful of bills at the driver. Darcy doesn’t know anything much about cab fares in Manhattan and Brooklyn, but she’s pretty sure there’s a hefty tip going on there, too.

“Enjoy the rest of your night,” the guy answers in an epic-enough of a deadpan that Darcy can’t help grinning back over her shoulder at him. She intends to do just that, and she’s not opposed to people knowing it.

Clint’s place is on an upper floor--Darcy loses track of how many flights of stairs they go up pretty early, like, oh, on the third step, because Clint’s back to the intense kissing again, and she is not going to waste brain cycles on anything other than how he feels against her. It takes them for-fucking-ever to navigate all the stairs, but they’re finally inside his apartment and the door locked behind them. The only other thing that’s changed is that the door at her back means she can get a leg up around his hips and grind against him while he keeps on kissing her mouth and jaw and neck.

“Oh, god,” Darcy gasps as he bites and sucks and worries at the curve of her neck. She can feel the bruise starting already; the thought of seeing it every time she looks in the mirror sends something twisting low and hot through her. “Please tell me you have condoms, because I was not thinking anything like this was going to happen tonight and I might cry if we have to stop--”

“Relax,” Clint says. She’d be really irritated by the lazy smirk he’s got working, but she can feel how hard he is against her, his cock thick and heavy from nothing more than a little making out. She moves purposefully into him and is rewarded by his voice roughening as he adds, “Got everything in the bathroom.”

It takes a ridiculous amount of time to get across to where the bathroom is tucked under some stairs, but apparently Darcy’s brain is not on board with letting go of him for even long enough for him to detour there and get the necessary supplies. Clint doesn’t seem to mind, treating it as an opportunity to not stop the kissing, and they manage not to trip and fall in their journey, so all-in-all, Darcy’s calling it a win.

“Look at you,” Clint murmurs, turning Darcy to face the mirror while he digs through a shaving kit set on the edge of the sink. “So fucking gorgeous.”

Darcy isn’t entirely sure she agrees, not with how wild her hair is and the flush that’s reddening her too-damn-pale skin, but she can’t tear her eyes away from where he’s stepped up behind her. He holds her gaze as he brushes her hair over her shoulder, not looking away until he bends down to bite a line of kisses along where her neck curves into the opposite shoulder. She reaches back and pulls him closer, so that she’s trapped between him and the sink and lets herself fall into the feel of his mouth and hands on her.

Darcy half-expects him to call a halt to the extended foreplay they’ve got working and start steering her to a mattress, or at least to pick up the pace a little, but Clint just settles in behind her and watches her in the mirror, taking his time and tugging open her blouse one little pearl button at a time. It’s right on the edge of crazy-making, how slow he’s going, but Darcy can see how dark his eyes are, the light blue of his iris almost swallowed up by the dark of his pupils, and she’s mesmerized by them, by how much he wants her.

Clint has to ease back from her to get the blouse off, but he does it fast, and gets her bra undone and off, too, and then they’re back to the slow, careful touches. He runs his hands down her sides, and back up to stroke along the curve of her breasts. Her nipples tighten even before he touches them; in the mirror she can see them harden and darken, and she has to close her eyes when she sees him watching, too.

“Darcy,” Clint says, his voice little more than a whisper. “Open your eyes, baby. I want to see you.” He’s smiling at her when she does, but then, like it’s a reward or something, he flicks at her nipples with his nails and her eyes slam shut at the sudden spark of pleasure. “C’mon,” he coaxes, and they do it again, and again, until Darcy manages to keep her eyes open while he plays with her nipples, tweaking and rolling and tugging them until she wants to scream at how they ache for more.

“You can go harder,” she manages to gasp. She’s never really gotten up the courage to say that to a guy before--too afraid of what they might think or that they’ll take it too far and really hurt her--but Clint’s been with her all along, and he doesn’t stop now.

“Tell me if it’s too much,” he says, waiting for her to nod before he catches her left nipple, pinching it tight and twisting it sharply enough to shock a hoarse cry out of her. He hesitates for the barest second, waiting to make sure she’s not going to say anything, then does it to her right one, and then without any break at all, does them both, over and over, watching while Darcy shakes and whimpers and writhes through the jagged streaks of pleasure-pain.

She’s done it like this to herself, but it’s different when it’s someone else, when there’s an extra edge of knowing that they’re not going to know exactly when to back off; that it’s not going to matter how much she's hurting, they’re not going to ease off until Darcy tells them. She deliberately sets her jaw and doesn’t say anything, letting him push her farther than she’s ever had the guts to push herself, not stopping him even when the slightest touch makes her shudder.

The thing that’s even better is getting to watch Clint watch her and feeling his cock pressing against her in the same rhythm, seeing how much he’s turned on even though he’s doing all the work.

“So good,” Darcy groans, laying her head back against his shoulder and trying to marshal some higher thought processes. She doesn’t know exactly what he might like, but that’s no excuse for just standing around and not seeing if she can guess.

“Yeah?” Clint asks. “That doing it for you?”

Darcy mmm’s and takes his hand to push it down under her skirt.

“Yeah,” Clint breathes, stroking two fingers over her already soaked panties. “For sure.” He’s touching her lightly now, the barest of pressure so she knows she’s not getting off anytime soon, but it’s enough to add to the hyperstimulation from her still throbbing nipples and keep her floating along in a half-daze.

“I thought about you,” Darcy whispers. “Before.” She wants to close her eyes for this part, but she’s already figured out he likes her watching him, so she swallows hard and keeps them open. “Thought about you touching me. About you fucking me.” Clint’s pressed so close to her she feels the stutter in his breathing, and that’s enough to keep her going. “I fucked myself while I was thinking about you--”

Fuck,” Clint swears, exploding into movement, dragging her panties down over her thighs and pressing her forward, so she's barely balanced on her toes, flipping her skirt up over her back. “I knew you had a mouth on you, but holy shit, baby…”

He half-lifts her as he works her panties completely off, not stopping until he's gotten one of her knees up onto the sink, all her weight thrown forward. She gets a hand up on the mirror so that she’s a little bit braced, but her other foot is only barely touching the floor, her balance almost totally off, and every neuron in her brain is screaming that she’s spread wide open for him. She whimpers at the thought, letting her head hang down and hiding behind her hair.

“C’mon, baby,” Clint says, his mouth moving over the back of her shoulders. “It’s okay.” He tangles one hand in her hair and not-quite gently tugs her head up so she’s looking at his reflection in the mirror. He watches her as he slides his other hand over her back and thighs and butt, back to the light, scattered touches that make her want to squirm. She can’t though, not with how precarious her balance is, so she just has to keep still and let him do whatever he wants. (She knows he’ll stop if she asks him to, but it’s not like that, not yet.)

“Keep talking,” Clint tells her. He strokes high on her legs, the calluses on his shooting fingers rasping over the sensitive skin of her inner thighs. “Tell me how you fucked yourself.”

“My--my hand.”

Clint slips a single finger into her cunt and Darcy’s heart skips a beat at how good it feels even if it’s not nearly enough. He presses it in and out, slowly, and again, Darcy can’t really do anything but take it.

“Is that all?” Clint tugs at Darcy’s hair again, not letting go even when she shakes her head. “Tell me.”

“I’d finger myself and then I’d use a vibrator,” Darcy half-moans. The slow in-and-out of his finger is doing a number on her filters; she's normally too embarrassed to say stuff like this, but the words are just flying out of her mouth here. She guesses the way he's hanging on every word isn't hurting either. “Fuck myself stupid with it.”

“Where?” Clint whispers. “Your cunt?” He pushes another finger in and Darcy groans. Two still aren't enough, but his hand is bigger than hers, and rougher; they make her want more, but then just as quickly, they’re gone, and he’s playing with her ass, tapping lightly at her opening, rimming her with his nails. Darcy can't quite keep still at the sudden flare of sensations, her hips jerking and pushing back at him, but she manages not to fall. Her heart is pounding, though, even moreso when she sees how closely Clint's watching her, like he can't bear to even blink. “Just there?" he asks, again. "Or did you think about me and fuck yourself here--" He pushes one finger, slick from her cunt, just inside her ass, and Darcy cries out at the unfamiliar stretch, the little bit of a burn. It's barely anything and it's lighting up nerves she didn't know she had, but she can feel how easily he could do more and she's not sure if she can take it.

“My cunt,” she sobs. “Just my cunt, I’ve never--” He nudges into her with a second finger, pushing both deeper, again barely anything, but it's more, and she panics a little, wailing, “I’ve never, oh, god, I haven’t--”

“Shh, baby,” Clint says, backing off immediately and almost crooning. It’s not fair how he can skip back and forth between the hottest thing Darcy’s ever seen and the most comforting. “Sorry, sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.” He's let go of her hair and is stroking her hip with his other hand.

“It’s okay,” Darcy tells him, her breath still coming fast but her heart settling a little. It really is okay; he'd stopped before she could even find the words to ask. Basically, it's no harm, no foul situation and she is not anywhere near ready to call things off. “I’m okay, please don’t stop.” Her clit is aching to be touched and her nipples are still throbbing with her heartbeat and if she doesn’t come soon she’s going to go completely bonkers.

“I’ve thought about you, too,” Clint says. He’s not making her keep her head up now, but she knows how much he likes seeing her, so she keeps it up herself and watches him. She can’t really see much of anything besides his face, but she’s sure he’s getting the condom open and on. “Thought about your pretty tits and your gorgeous mouth--”

He has been dealing with the condom, thank-fucking-god, and he breaks off as he pushes into her, as if words are too complicated. Darcy is right there with him; there’s nothing in her brain but his cock sliding into her cunt, long and thick and pretty much perfect. He’s moving quickly, too, which is awesome. Words would be good to tell him that, but she thinks the broken-off sounds she’s making are getting her point across.

“I’d think about this, too,” Clint gasps. “Wonder what kind of noises I could fuck out of you--” He moves her hips down a little, and the new angle it gives him lets him hit the exact right spot inside her. Darcy shudders and whines, and he groans. “There?” he asks, not really waiting for an answer, just settling into a hard, punishing rhythm that hits her again and again and again.

“I can’t,” Darcy cries. “I can’t--please--” She’s never been able to come like this, and she can’t let go of anything to get to her clit herself. Clint doesn’t stop moving, and the pressure inside her builds and builds, everything circling her cunt, no way to let it out, nothing to do but take it and take it and take it. “Please,” Darcy begs. “Please, please, please.”

She’s crying, the tears dripping off her face and her body arched back, screaming for release when he finally slides one hand around and drags his finger over her clit. She’s gone even before he finishes the first pass, but he doesn’t stop at one or even ten strokes, just forces a second and a third climax hard on top of the first. Darcy hears herself wailing and crying as everything that’s been coiled up inside her boils up and over, her muscles shaking and her cunt jerking and throbbing around his cock. He fucks her through it all, every stroke still hitting her perfectly, every one dragging her orgasm out that much longer.

She’s actually pretty proud of herself that she knows when Clint is close; she can’t really do much, but she does manage to choke out some encouraging words and makes her head stay up so she can watch his face, but then she’s toast and she can barely manage to keep from tearing her hamstring as her leg muscles tank.

“Easy,” Clint groans. “Wait, let me…”

Darcy makes a disappointed noise as he slides out of her, which surprises him for some reason that she is entirely too fucked-out to understand. She files it away for future thought and lets him help her stand on her own two feet--and when that doesn’t actually work, because holyshit was that some ridiculously awesome sex and her legs are not with the standing-up program, leans back against him and makes happy!Darcy noises.

“Good?” Clint asks. Darcy pats his arm where it’s looped around her stomach, holding her up.

“Super good,” she answers, only slurring her words a little. “Awesome, excellent, and all additional synonyms for 'holy-cow-my-brain-went-offline'.” She turns her head and presses a completely uncoordinated but no less sincere kiss in the region of his throat. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” He sounds a little bemused, but like he kinda likes it, so Darcy is good with that. “We should probably move, though. Otherwise I can’t guarantee we’re not going to spend the night right here on the floor.” He gets quiet suddenly, then adds, "If, um, you want to spend the night."

“I totally do," Darcy says. She sounds a little dreamy, but her blood still feels like a saturated endorphin solution so there's not much she can do about it.

"uh, move, then? No floor?"

"That would be good,” Darcy sighs. She manages not to face plant as they turn around and stagger back into the living room. Clint snags a t-shirt from somewhere and Darcy lets him drag it over her head while she shimmies out of her skirt as they move. His apartment turns out to be a loft (hey, she had way better things to pay attention to on the way in), which is a little problematic given that the bedroom is upstairs.

“Yeah, no,” Darcy says, eyeing the open flight of steps against the near wall. “Can you say ‘broken neck’?”

Clint snorts but steers her to a surprisingly comfortable couch on the long wall. It’s deep enough that they can both lie on it, Darcy tucked up into the curve of Clint’s body in your classic little-spoon configuration. It's pretty awesome. There’s even a quilt thrown over the back cushions, soft and faded and comfortable when Clint drags it over them.

“We should probably talk a little,” Darcy says with a sigh. “But later.”

“In the morning,” Clint agrees. She thinks he might have second thoughts about however this whole thing is going to go, but it’s better to get that all out in the open early on.

“Also, if there’s coffee in the morning, I will begin my reciprocal actions with a blow job,” Darcy says. She really, really likes it when he chokes out a laugh, like he had no expectation of anything like that coming out of her mouth. It’s always better when they're never quite sure what might be coming next.

“Baby, there is never not coffee in my house.”

“Excellent,” Darcy says, settling into him a little more deeply. “Just… excellent.”

It takes her a long time to fall asleep--and she knows he’s still awake when she does--but breathing with him is easily the best ending to an unexpected hook-up that she’s ever had.